Moodi Foodi Chef : Aida Mollenkamp
“I believe food tastes better when it’s prepared by hand and made with healthy, whole ingredients.”
I’ve been cooking, eating, and engaging in all things food for over 15 years. As a teenager, I decided to follow my passion and attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. There I started dreaming about working for a food publication, so I moved to Paris to hone my kitchen skills at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. My time in Europe included an extended stay in Florence, where I learned to speak Italian, cook the food, and found a more balanced approach to life.
I then came across a New York Times article by David Carr that spoke of a new style of food magazine named CHOW. A few months later, in January 2005, I joined the CHOW editorial team. During my five year tenure, I got my hands in everything from researching and writing to recipe development, food styling, and instructional videos, eventually becoming the magazine’s Food Editor.
Food Network came across my work and from there Ask Aida was born in August 2008. My second show, foodCrafters, first aired on the Cooking Channel in May 2010. In foodCrafters, I leave the kitchen to discover handmade foods from around the nation. I’m currently living in California and working on my first cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, which will be published by Chronicle Booksin October 2012.
My cooking style is considered west coast eclectic because I combine fresh, seasonal ingredients with the ethnic flavors of contemporary California. Though my food is rooted in European techniques and Mediterranean ingredients, I take artistic license to mix things up for recipes that are creative, reliable, easy, and healthy.
I’m passionate about giving back to the community and have worked with nonprofits, such as Share Our Strength, to help kids foster a healthy food relationship. I occupy my remaining free time trying new restaurants, building out my home bar, shopping for antiques, and, of course, cooking.
Keys To The Kitchen